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Faranak Amidi takes a fresh look at the stories of the week with journalists from our 40 language sections.

Faranak Amidi takes a fresh look at the stories of the week with journalists from our 40 language sections.


United Kingdom




Faranak Amidi takes a fresh look at the stories of the week with journalists from our 40 language sections.




Ukraine’s corruption crackdown

Ukraine’s anti-corruption campaign is in the spotlight, with the recent dismissal or resignation of several top officials after a string of corruption scandals. Vitaliy Shevchenko of BBC Monitoring explains how the war with Russia has affected Ukraine’s long-running efforts to deal with corruption. Iraq and the Gulf Cup A recent sports story from Iraq provided a welcome change from conflict and political turmoil, when the country hosted football’s Arabian Gulf Cup for the first time since...


Belarus language crackdown

It's becoming more and more dangerous to speak Belarusian in Belarus, with reports of people being sacked and even arrested for trying to conduct their work in Belarusian. The linguistic clampdown escalated after the 2020 pro-democracy protests against long-term leader Alexander Lukashenko, as BBC Russian journalist, and Belarusian, Tatsiana Yanutsevich reports. Sri Lanka's education crisis In Sri Lanka many parents are having to decide which children to send to school. It’s a consequence of...


Why Kenyan pupils are burning schools

Why are students in Kenya burning their boarding schools? That was the question that inspired BBC Africa reporter Ashley Lime in the Nairobi bureau to investigate these sometimes deadly arson attacks which escalated after the covid pandemic. She spoke to students, relatives of teenagers who died in the fires and experts to better understand this decades old problem. Russian 'Old New Year' After the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the calendar and date of the official New Year changed...


The decline of Ukraine’s oligarchs

For decades, Ukraine's super-rich oligarchs wielded enormous economic and political power. But in 2021, a new law was introduced to curb their influence, and the war with Russia has cost them billions in lost assets and revenue. Vitaly Shevchenko of BBC Monitoring tells us about the dramatic change in their fortunes. The endangered pink iguanas of the Galapagos Scientists have for the first time discovered a number of baby pink iguanas in the Galapagos Islands. The species is critically...


Memorable interviews from 2022

In a year packed with big news stories, who are the interviewees whose stories have stayed with our language service colleagues? BBC Ukrainian's Zhanna Bezpiatchuk tells the story of the teenager forced to flee his home in Borodianka, who now dreams of becoming a journalist. BBC Pashto's Shazia Haya shares the story of a mother of daughters now denied their secondary school education. Parham Ghobadi from BBC Persian led the coverage of the death in mysterious circumstances of 16-year-old...


Can saying fool land you in jail?

Last week Istanbul's Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu was sentenced to two years seven months in jail and banned from taking part in politics. It’s not clear if his sentence will be ratified by two higher courts, but his crime was to call Turkey’s election officials ‘fools’ after the rerun 2019 mayoral elections, though many believe it has more to do with next year's presidential elections. BBC Monitoring journalist Dilay Yalcin in Istanbul unpicks the story. Meeting Thailand's leading transgender...


Who is Yevgeny Prigozhin?

Yevgeny Prigozhin is the head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, a role that he denied until September. Andrei Zakharov of BBC Russian has been investigating the story of Mr Prigozhin for many years, and he shares his insights. Qatar cultural exchange As the Arab world's first football World Cup concludes, the BBC's Lina Shaikhouni shares her impressions of the cultural exchanges the event has witnessed, from traditional local dress made up in team colours, to stadiums designed to echo...


The Arab world and the war in Ukraine

Hisham Yezza of BBC Monitoring has been observing the impact in the Middle East and North Africa of the war in Ukraine since the invasion nearly ten months ago. He tells us how the war is reported and discussed in the region, and how at a political level, traditional alliances with the West are shifting. A sweet treat that could help the Amazon People from Brazil's Amazon region enjoy many dishes made with the local cupuaçu fruit, but they make less use of the seeds. These can be processed...


China protests

A fire in a residential block fire in Urumqi, which killed 10 people, sparked protests among citizens tired of living under China’s strict zero-Covid policy. As well as brave and vocal protests, many have adopted more creative ways to get their voices heard, as BBC Chinese Editor Howard Zhang reports. India street girl update BBC Marathi's Dipali Jagtap won India’s Laadli Award for her report into a footpath-dweller in Mumbai, Asma Shaikha, who struggled to continue her education during the...


Unmasking a Russian police torturer

On March 6th, huge anti-war demonstrations across Russia led to the arrest of more than 5,000 protesters. Among them were at least 11 women who were taken to Moscow's Brateyevo Police Station, where they were questioned and subjected to verbal and physical abuse, which in some cases amounted to torture. The man overseeing this was an unnamed police officer they nicknamed 'the man in black'. Using a leaked database from a Russian food delivery company, archived social media accounts and old...


Kherson: a presidential visit

President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit this week to Kherson, soon after the Russian withdrawal, prompted lively commentary on Ukrainian social media, and some comparisons with the Russian president. BBC Monitoring's Margaryta Maliukova tells us more. Hell on earth: the Korean Japanese people persuaded to move to North Korea In 1960, Eika Kawasaki left her family in Japan and moved to North Korea. She was one of 90,000 plus Korean Japanese who went to North Korea on a project called ‘paradise...


Reporting COP27

BBC Arabic's Sally Nabil is one of the team in Sharm el-Sheikh reporting on the COP27 climate summit. She tells us how the conference centre and beach resort exist side by side, and why this choice of venue offers so many advantages to the host country, Egypt. COP27: three stories from the language services BBC Swahili's Anne Ngugi visited Kenya's Amboseli national park, where the worst drought in 40 years has left a landscape littered with animal carcases. BBC Bengali's Shahnewaj Rocky met...


Ethiopia: an end to the fighting

The BBC’s Addis Ababa correspondent Kalkidan Yibeltal tells us about the agreement just reached between the Ethiopian government and officials from the Tigray region, to stop fighting and to allow unhindered humanitarian access. He also reflects on the challenges of reporting the civil war over the last two years. The centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb It's 100 years since the discovery of the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, almost intact and full of treasures, nearly...


Ukraine's water wars

Russia is accused of deliberately cutting water supplies to the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, which has been without fresh drinking water since April. A BBC Ukrainian investigation reveals that the supply pipes, which travel through Russian occupied areas, were most likely deliberately sabotaged by Russian forces. Viktoriia Zhuhan explains the evidence behind this claim, and reveals how civilians in Mykolaiv have been managing. Divided Brazil Brazilians go to the polls this weekend to elect...


Iran protests: the ripple effect

The protests in Iran are now the longest and most widespread in the 43 years of the Islamic Republic. What began as a reaction to the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22 year old Kurdish woman, arrested for allegedly violating strict hijab rules, quickly changed into a wider protest against the regime. What's happening in Iran has had a ripple effect for women across the region. To find out more we brought together Selin Girit from BBC Turkish, Mariam Aman from BBC Persian, who's from...


TikTok begging in Syria

A BBC investigation has discovered that up to 70% of donations being sent to displaced families in Syria via TikTok was being taken by the social media platform. Families in camps in northern Syria said they only receive a fraction of the donations, as BBC Arabic's Mamdouh Akbiek reports. Bangladesh’s matriarchal Garo people The Garo people are one of the largest of Bangladesh’s indigenous communities. Their traditions are unique, and based on a matriarchal society. Shahnawaz Rocky of BBC...


Life in the Russian army

BBC Russian journalist Olga Ivshina shares the findings of her investigation into the reality of life for soldiers serving in Russia's armies, from crowd-sourcing to buy their own equipment, to why it’s so hard to leave. Iran protest: 'For...’ The lyrics to 'Baraye', which translates as ‘for’ or ‘because’, by Shervin Hajipour were taken from ordinary Iranians posting on social media to explain why they are protesting, each line beginning "for...". BBC Persian's Saba Zavarei explains how the...


Mahsa Amini’s father speaks out

Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, died a week ago after being detained by Iran’s so called ‘morality police’, who claimed she was violating the country's strict dress code laws. Witnesses claim she was beaten, while the official explanations claim she had pre-existing health issues. We hear from BBC Persian's Jiyar Gol about his interview with her father Amjad Amini, who has spoken out at great risk to himself and contradicted the official version of events. The women turning rice...


Global perspectives on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Today we take a global perspective on the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. We hear about some of the affectionate names by which the Queen was known by around the world, from 'Dear Granny' to 'Boss Lady', with BBC Burmese's Soe Win Than, BBC Africa Southern Africa Correspondent Pumza Filhani and BBC Chinese's Vivien Wong. Presenter Irena Taranyuk speaks to language service colleagues about the unique perspectives and relationships their audiences and countries have with the British...


The forgotten protesters of Belarus

Two years ago, Belarusians took to the streets in mass protests after elections in which President Alexander Lukashenko declared a landslide victory. His main opponent was driven into exile, and thousands of protesters were jailed. Some, who have now been released, have told BBC Russian's Tatsiana Yanutsevich about their shock at discovering that Belarusians are no longer hailed as heroes, but seen by many as citizens of an aggressor country. The lake that came from nowhere Lake Rgotsko in...